I found this on http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/ Thanks to reader AZ!
There are growing signs -- from a black swan in savings/debt reduction to massive debt loads to quarterly trillion dollar losses in personal wealth to stagnant/falling consumer purchases to persistently low consumer confidence -- that the parasite ridden American "consumer" is finally dead. If this is true, the economic model of the latter half of the last Century is likely dead too, and that will mean wrenching change. It's my belief that the dominant solution is to prepare for a local future to ride out this storm. Here are some of my random (more random than I would like) thoughts on what you should do to prepare:
Ruthlessly reduce debt. Nothing on credit. Pay off every loan. Strategically walk away from underwater assets (like homes that are worth less than the mortgage). This will allow you to stay one step ahead of the death throes of the old economy.
Turn your hollow home into a productive asset. Most homes are devoid of any productive capacity. Adding energy, food, etc production to them turns them into real, productive assets. Get your assets out of financial derivatives (stocks, bonds, etc.) as fast as you can and put them into productive assets (not commodities) you can touch.
Make everything you can yourself. Grow your own food. Produce your own energy. Make/repair your own clothes. Turn costs into savings. Reskill to do this. The new "fashionable trend" isn't what you can buy, it's what you can make. Anyone that buys "designer or branded" anything is a fool.
Work online. Convert your skills into something that can be sold electronically (most of my complex work is done this way). Develop the skills necessary to work as part of a virtual team. Telecommute whenever possible (and push to do this, even if it means less money), reduce the number of cars/dress clothes/etc you own in synch with this conversion (and move to a less expensive locale when possible!). Always have two jobs going at the same time.
Build a local business. Own assets that produce and sell that production locally. Even if it is small, it will help down the line via contact networks/experience (a new spin on modern "networking"). Develop the niche skills that sell locally. Group/tribe up when possible to tackle larger opportunities.
Barter. Cashless trades. Convert what you have to what you need. Skill set bartering is amazingly effective. Become part of a local barter network (the backchannel).
Bring your family home. Grow your home to accommodate more people. Bring back parents and grown kids (with their families). This will allow you to pool incomes and radically reduce workload/costs. It's also beneficial for security. NOTE: I've found that consideration/compromise is the best way to handle an expansive family home environment.
This change doesn't require cute and crunchy notions about "lifestyle" environmentalism. It's all about mitigation of stresses in the short to medium term as living conditions deteriorate, while at the same time preparing to ride the resilient community wave to rapid and sustained long term success/wealth
My wife and I are doing most of these things. We started a garden. We are networking locally to try and pull our existence in closer to ourselves. Tamara has a suprisingly useful ability: she can change basic ingredients into really, really good food. She's got a gift. We have found a lot of local food providers and get our stuff directly from them.
It's funny because I started as a close cut, conformist, conservative who's first political book was Rush Limbaugh's "I Told You So". Now I've got a Ron Paul sign up in my yard six months after the election (I plan on changing the 2008 to 2012).
The vein of these posts is not meant to be a form of running around and flailing my arms, but rather to calmly respond to what I see as a monstrous situation. Like most people I am prone to tune it out and just get about my business. However, I have decided to do both: to be as aware as I can, and educate myself, but also to quietly apply my personal influence/energy in a way that will most benefit myself, family and fellowman.
To whit: the banking system is a cancer on our society. Solution: find a different way to live. I'm not freaking out. Inasmuch as I am free to do so, I will withdraw from their company and find a different way to live. What is the opposite of banking (ie take out more than you put in)? Is it charity (put in more than you take out)? Or is it something else? The Lord is a Lord of Abundance, the Lord of Creation.
Here is another really interesting article:
Posted by Blue Table Painting at 8:36 PM